Bailey Heldmar, a Rhodes College senior and English major from Tulsa, OK, has been selected to receive a Fulbright U.S. Student Award to work in Macedonia the 2015-2016 academic year.
“I have been placed at the Municipal Technical Secondary School “Nace Bugjoni” in Kumanovo, Macedonia, starting in September and will be working as an English Teaching Assistant helping to facilitate conversations and tell the students about American culture,” says Heldmar.
“My minor is education, and my research last semester involved culturally relevant pedagogy. Part of the reason that I applied to be a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant is so that I can experience having to adapt to a culture other than my own. Too many students in the U.S. are not learning because our classrooms do not respond to their various different backgrounds. In Macedonia, I will be forced to adjust my teaching style to meet the needs of my students. I don′t know if I will end up in education when I return from Macedonia, but I am excited to apply practices I have read about in my research while I am there.”
The Fulbright Program, America’s highly prestigious international educational exchange sponsor, is administered by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Established in 1946 under legislation introduced by Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright, the program awards grants to students, scholars, administrators and professionals to study, teach, lecture or conduct research abroad.
At Rhodes, Heldmar is historian/treasurer of the Rhodes chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honor Society, and she serves as a Writing Fellow. She also is former president of the Kappa Omicron Chapter of Alpha Omicron Pi. Heldmar has worked at Hope House as part of Rhodes’ Summer Service Fellowship program and currently is an editorial intern for At Home Memphis and Mid South Magazine.
In addition to the Fulbright award, Heldmar is one of only 100 students to be accepted into the Columbia Publishing Course this summer at Columbia University in New York. The goal of the course is to teach recent college graduates everything they would learn in their first year of an entry-level publishing job, but in just six weeks. Heldmar looks forward to learning about different elements of publishing beyond writing and gaining contacts in the industry. Heldmar credits her internship at At Home Memphis and Mid South Magazine as well as her experience editing peer papers as a Writing Fellow for sparking her interest in publishing. She says she enjoys helping fellow students translate what is in their minds into words on paper.
Heldmar is a graduate of Bishop Kelley High School in Oklahoma.